Joon Bahadur

  • Abhishek Behl / FG
  • India
  • Oct 29, 2012

Two-time MLA Rajinder Singh Joon, dressed in a trademark kurta pyjama, and sporting a thick handle-bar moustache, has the look of a politician from Haryana. However, unlike an average Neta who is only concerned about his caste, clan and family,  Joon seems committed to the overall development of his constituency. The importance he is giving to the creation of civic and industrial infrastructure, and his faith in the future of Bahadurgarh, holds hope that this upcoming city on the outskirts of the national capital will grow into a lively metropolis.

“Bahadurgarh was virtually a fiefdom of certain politicians and their henchmen. There was no law and order prevailing in the City, and markets used to close at 6 pm. It was difficult to motivate workers, as they were low on confidence,” says Joon. To boost the morale of the Congress workers and supporters, he fought for enfranchising voters that had traditionally voted for Congress but had been denied the right to vote. “Twenty eight thousand ration cards, forms and affidavits were photocopied by my workers, as the Administration did not want to help me. I had to plead my case with senior officials in Chandigarh, who ultimately intervened, and about 13,000 voters were registered when elections were called,” says Joon. “I won the 2005 election by 5,100 votes, and Congress came to power in Haryana. The first thing I did was to ensure that the rule of law prevailed in my constituency. Things like ‘hafta wasooli’, and crime, were targeted,” he asserts. He believes that development and growth can take place in a peaceful society only.

Joon also reiterates that the politics of Haryana has changed with the arrival of Bhupender Singh Hooda. “Being from Rohtak, Hooda has helped in bringing development to those parts of Haryana which were neglected by the earlier chief ministers,” he asserts. 

“This government has brought about balanced development. Both rural and urban areas have been treated fairly,” he says.

The constituency has a mix of different communities – including Jats, Brahmins, Banias, Muslims and Punjabi Hindus.  “It was my commitment towards development, and the maintenance of law and order, which motivated the people to vote for the Congress,” he says. He won by 20,000 votes in 2009. Joon says that his priority was to revive the City’s dying civic infrastructure, and particularly the living conditions in the Line Par colony.

“I proposed and got sanctioned a Rs. 44 crores project, that ensured paved streets and a sewerage system in the Line Par area. Thousands of people were benefited by this move, and more residents turned to the Congress,” he asserts. Another major move was the setting up of a bypass around the City, that would rid it of traffic congestion. “I proposed that an 18-km bypass be set up, and this was approved. A major portion of this road has been constructed; a minor part is held up due to litigation, but will be constructed soon,” says Joon.

Bahadurgarh constituency has 31 villages, and each of these now have concretised streets. “Chaupals in the City and villages have been made pukka. We believe in taking along all the ‘biradris’, and there has been no discrimination against any one on the basis of caste, community or political affiliation,” he says.

Another major step was to increase the width of a culvert at the entry of the City, that had become notorious as ‘Khooni Pulia’. “Accidents were taking place regularly on this stretch, and it was after my intervention that it was rebuilt. The place has become safe now,” he says with confidence.

However, the most important event, that will prove a game changer for Bahadurgarh, is the recent approval for the Metro rail project. “It was clear to the Haryana government that the development of Bahadurgarh could take place once the Metro reached here. I took up the matter repeatedly with the CM, who then gave his consent,” he says. However, it was only after a number of high-level meetings, that a decision to extend the line was taken. “This decision will greatly benefit the City and surrounding areas, and help its  transformation from a suburb of Delhi into another Millennial destination in the NCR,” he asserts.

With the Metro coming in can the malls and commercial buildings be far behind? Bahadurgarh is witnessing the construction of a number of modern malls, and the MLA says that they have proposed setting up a mall with a modern multiplex, as more outsiders are coming here to work and stay.

Joon also appreciates the role played by the NCR Planning Board in the development of Bahadurgarh. He reveals that a number of major projects in his constituency have been financed by the NCR Board, which has worked positively for the development of the constituency. “The Master Plan of Bahadurgarh was approved by the Board, and this has been of great help. Gurgaon should also take advantage of this nodal Board,” he asserts.

To improve commuting, the city roads have been widened, and the quality of workmanship greatly improved, he claims. A project of Rs. 32 crores has been sanctioned for the four-laning of the road from Tikri to Jakhouda Bypass. He has also proposed that a new mini-secretariat complex, along with a judicial building, be set up, as the population has increased manifold and the demands on the Administration have multiplied. A Sewage Treatment Plant and a network of drains are under construction, at a cost of Rs. 70 crores. Another major project under consideration is to cover the West Jua drain, that will also enable the building of a major concrete road across the City. A water filtration plant is being set up at a cost of Rs. 9 crores. A solid Waste Treatment Plant has also been proposed. A Community Centre has been proposed in Sector 6, whereas an international convention centre in Gorrayia Tourist Complex is also under consideration. Other projects proposed are an international stadium, and a 5-star hotel.

The education system has got a boost with an 8 acres wing being added to the existing Boys’ college, that was set up during the tenure of his father – who was also an MLA of Bahadurgarh. PDM College, that was a private educational institution, has been accorded a private university status. “We have approached the state government to set up an engineering college for the youth. The ITI has already been upgraded and expanded. We want the best institutions to come up in the area,” he says.

Bahadurgarh has had a strong industrial base in Haryana, but the majority of the entrepreneurs had lost faith in the area due to poor infrastructure, and law and order issues. “I motivated the industry and promised them that conditions will improve with the arrival of the Congress government. The Parle factory, that had been shut due to disputes, was re-opened after 9 months,” informs Joon. Now almost 600 units are functioning in the industrial area set up by HSIIDC.

A Footwear Park has also been set up by the HSIIDC in the Bahadurgarh industrial area, and this has brought in a large number of shoe manufacturing units. Major ceramic factories, have also set base here, asserts Joon. An ESI Hospital has come up.  Bahadurgarh Civil Hospital also has a new Trauma Centre, and has been upgraded.

Moving from development to politics, Joon expresses confidence that the leadership of Hooda will see the party through, and the Congress will form the next government again. When asked if he wanted to become a minister, Joon smiles, “I am satisfied with my work in the constituency. The development of Bahadurgarh was the dream of my father, and it is a commitment that will be fulfilled,” he asserts. 

Not many will know that apart from being the gateway of Haryana, and an industrial hub, Bahadurgarh is one of the biggest manpower suppliers to the Delhi government, as well as the many institutions of the central government. The people of Bahadurgarh are also serving in large numbers in the defence forces.

Recounting the past, Colonel Krishan Rathee says that he had to go to the Tikri border to buy milk packets, as these were not available locally till the year 2000. Commuting was very difficult. “Bahadurgarh was a small speck in Haryana State; and the politicians, many of whom belonged to other regions, felt it had no future,” says Rathee.

Founded by Mughal Emperor Alamgir II, this City has now become a viable option for industry, and for those looking for a residential option at a reasonable price.

The Metro route, that is expected to change the future of Bahadurgarh, will be 11.182 kms, and the cost of the project is expected to be Rs. 1991 crores. There will be seven stations on the route – Mundka Industrial Area, Ghevra, Tikri Kalan, Tikri Border, Modern Industrial Estate, Bahadurgarh Bus Stand, and City Park. The construction work on the line will start this year, and would be completed by March 2016.

Luckily, Bahadurgarh also falls in the parliamentary constituency of Deepinder Hooda, the son and political heir of the present Chief Minister. Locals say that Hooda has been quite active in the area, and has visited every village of the constituency. “The local MP has been liberal with development funds, and so has been the government,” says Rakesh Panwar, a local journalist, who says that development has come here only in the last decade.

Ravi Khatri, Chairman of the Nigam Parishad, says that a lot of development has taken place in the City, particularly to boost the civic infrastructure. The Parishad, he says, has an annual budget of Rs. 22 crores.

Tejvir Dalal, Block Chairman, says that the present government has ensured that water and power is made available to the farmers, as it is crucial for agricultural operations. “Seeds and fertilizers on subsidy are also being distributed in a fair manner. The village streets have been made pukka, and chaupals also have seen transformation,” he adds.

Gajraj, a hotelier who has built an 80 room hotel, speaking at the inaugural function, told Friday Gurgaon that he has immense faith in the future of Bahadurgarh. The industry is coming up in a big way and demand is rising,” he says. Dharamvir Singh Joon, a former inspector with Delhi Police says, “During the INLD rule the recruitments took place from one particular area. There was massive corruption, and poor law and order – but now things have improved,” says Joon, whose son appeared nineteen times in the selection process, to join the Haryana police as a constable. He is now a doctorate, he rues. 

Bahadurgarh has a population of around 2 lakhs, and the literacy rate is 88 per cent. Colonel Rathee says that being very close to Delhi has been one of the reasons that this area has high literacy rates—for both men and women—and the crime against the fair sex is also less, compared to other parts of the State.

But locals also allege that unemployment is rampant, as the Haryana government has not initiated a major recruitment drive. “If the youth are given jobs, and more industry brought in, there is no reason why this City cannot match other cities in future,” says Dharamvir Joon.

Residents of the City meanwhile reiterate that the best thing that has happened to Bahadurgarh has been the return of peace, and an end to criminal activities that had made life impossible prior to 2005. “We want to live and let live,” says Surinder, a resident of the City. 


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